Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sewing Tutorial: Padded Cover for a Kindle/iPad/Cell Phone/Any Electronic - EASY Sewing Project for Beginners and Great Gift Idea


My mother uses her kindle every single day; so when my husband pulled her name for the gift exchange on Christmas Eve, 2011, I knew we were going to do a 
reading & relaxing theme. 

I decided to sew a padded Kindle cover because she's always dropping 
her electronics & I thought it might be nice if she had some protective gear. 

I picked the fabric, a pretty floral print for the outside & a solid orange floral print for the inside. After I had almost finished sewing it, I realized that I had reversed the two sides! 
Hence, the orange outer fabric & floral inner fabric in the picture of the finished product above. I decided to make a second one in different colors & give her both so that 
she could change them out depending what color bag she was carrying. 

I've plugged in the numbers for the measurements for a Kindle below, but along with those you will find the complete instructions & equations to fill in with the measurements of any device that might need some padding for your next trip though the airport, protection from small children, or any other kinds of bumps & bruises that can happen in our busy, everyday lives. 

This is a seriously easy project that any person new to sewing should have no problem completing with ease. I'm really good at these little household sewing projects & decor-type stuff like curtains, pillows, quilts, etc; so please feel free to post any questions & I'll get back to you ASAP with some answers. Good luck & enjoy!

MATERIALS
  1. 1/4 yard each of two lightweight cotton fabrics (any quilting fabric will work, really)
  2. 1/4 yard medium-loft cotton batting
  3. Hand-sewing needle
  4. Paper & pen
  5. Scissors
  6. Sewing machine
  7. Thread to match cotton fabrics
DIRECTIONS
Part I: Preparation
  1. Choose the fabric. Choose 2 lightweight cotton fashion or quilting fabrics & a medium-loft cotton batting (this makes the bag washable).
  2. PREWASH THE FABRIC! (If you don't PREwash it, it will shrink when it's washed after it's sewn & the seams will look pulled, ruining the bag.)
  3. Iron the fabric.
  4. Measure the device. Take your device's length, width, & depth measurements. Here, the covers I made fit a Kindle at 8" long, approximately 5&1/2" wide, & approximately 1/2" deep. *TIP!* I don't have a Kindle, so I went to Amazon (you can use any manufacturer's website, too) to get the dimensions. Just look for the product specifications. You can do this any time you're giving a gift!
  5. Make the pattern for the fabric. Combine the width & the depth & double that figure. Make a rectangular pattern this width by the original length of your device. Add 1/2" to width & 1" to length for ease. Next, add a 1/4" seam allowance to all sides of both patterns. (For a Kindle: Dimension 1= 8L+1"ease+1/4"SA+1/4"SA= 9.5 inches. Dimension 2= 2(5.5W+.5D)+1/2" ease+1/4"SA+1/4"SA=13 inches.)
  6. Cut the fabric pieces. Following the pattern, cut one of the lining & one of the outer fabric.
  7. Make the pattern for the batting. Make another pattern that's double the fabric pattern in length less 1/2-inch. (For a Kindle: Dimension 3= 2(9.5)-1/2" = 18.5 inches. Dimension 4 = 13 inches, same as Dimension 2.)
  8. Cut the batting. Following the pattern, cut the batting.
Here are some small illustrations of the patterns (obviously not to scale):

Part II: Making the Cover
  1. Join the outer & lining fabrics. Sew the face & lining, right sides together, along dimension two. Press the seam allowances open, & press the joined fabrics flat to form a single layer rectangle. See pictures under Step 1 below.
  2. Pin on the batting.  Pin the batting to the wrong side of the outer fabric & lining unit you just created in step one. See picture under Step 2 below.
  3. Sew on the batting. Stitch the batting to the outer fabric & lining unit along the center seam. *TIP!* I learned, through the trial & error of making several covers, you want to do this so that you stitch along the center seam already made as close as possible or on the finished cover you will be able to see the unevenness. The best way to do this is to pin the batting so that it will not shift or move in the least while stitching. Then flip the cover over so that you are actually stitching on the original seam that is on the right sides of the quilting fabrics. See pictures under Step 3 below.
  4. Sew the outer edges. Fold the fabric/batting unit in half, right sides together, perpendicular to the seam. Sew around perimeter, leaving an opening for turning the cover right-side out. *TIP!* This is where I made my mistake on the first cover I made; so pay attentin to this step & you won't make the same mistake I did! When you leave an opening to flip it right-side out, be sure that you leave it in the piece of fabric that you want to be the lining. Likewise, also make sure that you use the machine to stitch all the way around the piece of fabric that is to be the outer cover. The reason is that obviously the seam of the opening that you hand-stitch shut will not be as strong as the machine-stitched seams. You would want the stronger seams to be on the outside because that fabric will be handled (& seen) more than the lining, so you want it to be nice & strong (& pretty!). See pictures under Step 4 below.
  5. Finish the cover. First, grade & trim the seam allowance & batting (as close as possible while the seam still remains strong). Then, turn the case right side out & hand-stitch the opening closed using a slip-stitch (also called invisible stitch). Tuck the lining inside the pouch, tack all layers together at the bag's bottom corners, & lightly press the bag flat. *TIP!* You can use the point of a mechanical pencil with the graphite (it's not lead anymore, people!) pushed in so it doesn't mark the fabric to get the corners into a decent square shape. See pictures under Step 5 below.

PICTURES TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH PART II:


STEP 1:
A) Showing you the one side after sewing seam.
"Sew the face & lining, right sides together,
along dimension 2."
B) Showing you the other side.
"Sew the face & lining, right sides together,
along dimension 2."


C) Opening the two sewn pieces of fabric into
a rectangle to iron the seam allowances open.


D) "Press the seam allowances open."
E) "Press the joined fabrics flat to
form a single layer rectangle."









STEP 2:

 A) "Pin the batting to the wrong side of
the outer fabric & lining unit."



STEP 3:

A) "Stitch the batting to the outer fabric & lining unit
along the center seam."
 
B) "Flip the cover over so that you are actually stitching on
the original seam that's on the right sides of the quilting fabrics."




STEP 4:


 *TIP!* This is where I made my mistake on the first cover I made; 
so pay attention to this step & you won't make the same mistake I did!

A) Picture shows entire piece after completing step 4."Fold the fabric/batting unit in half, right sides together, perpendicular to the seam.
Sew around perimeter, leaving an opening for turning the cover right-side out."


B) Picture shows close-up of outer fabric sewn
completely with the machine.
"Use the machine to stitch all the way around
the piece of fabric that is to be the outer cover."


C) Picture shows close-up of lining fabric with gap in
the middle of the bottom seam.
"When you leave an opening to flip it right-side out,
be sure that you leave it in the piece of fabric
that you want to be the lining."




D) Picture shows close-up of lining fabric. Sew around corner to finish
stitching all the way around the perimeter. Stop halfway, & sew in from other
corner, leaving the gap in the center of the bottom seam of the lining.





STEP 5:
A) "Grade & trim the seam allowance & batting
(as close as possible while the seam still remains strong."
B) "Then, turn the case right side out & hand-stitch the opening closed
using a slip-stitch (also called invisible stitch)."
 


C) "Tuck the lining inside the pouch, tack all layers together at
the bag's bottom corners, 
& lightly press the bag flat." 


 FINISHED PRODUCT!

                            


    


"It was more than discovering something that I loved to do - 
It was discovering someone I had always been." 
 ~ Natalie ;-*
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